Back in the late '80s, before gangsta rap became ubiquitous, party rap reigned supreme. And New York's Kid 'n Play were one of the most recognizable duos on the scene thanks to Kid's hi-top fade cut, their funky vibes, the House Party movies and their killer dance skills.
Kid 'n Play's 1988 "Gittin' Funky" video (above) found the duo hitting the streets of Queens for a massive block party and updating a 1920s dance craze in the process. The "Funky Charleston" (also known as "The Kid 'n Play Kick Step") became one of the most skillful, kick-ass dance crazes of the late '80s and even featured in Kid 'n Play's big screen debut, House Party, which is the first installment in the comedy film series they're best remembered for today.
Sure, their music was funky and fun—their debut album 2 Hype is a classic—but the House Party movies proved their effortless comedic chops and made them rapper-actor pioneers in the process. Two sequels followed, with House Party 2 boasting a massive Pajama Jam and House Party 3 featuring TLC as supporting cast members. Their other film, Class Act, was a '90s retelling of Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper and if you ever catch it on TV (Fuse, for instance), we highly recommend watching the whole thing. It's an excellent time capsule and a hilarious movie.
In addition to hi-top fades, movies, hit singles and dance moves, Kid 'n Play also attracted attention for their brief beef with Vanilla Ice. The one-hit wonder's "Ice Ice Baby" dissed them with the line, "You better hit bulls-eye, the Kid don't Play." They responded to him on "Next Question" from their third album, Face the Nation, and didn't mince words: "Another white boy kickin' pure nonsense / He's a pitiful individual / From whom I didn't hear anything original."
After taking some years off (and sitting out the fourth House Party film), Kid 'n Play are back in House Party 5: Tonight's the Night. Starring up-and-coming rapper-actor Tequan Richmond, HP5 finds Kid 'n Play returning to film series with epic and hilarious results. Catch the insanity when House Party 5 makes its world premiere on Fuse, November 29 at 8p/7c.